And Why You Need One
Social media has become a huge source of ‘word of click’. Instead of waiting and hoping for people to talk about your business, you have a much larger audience out there, waiting to see the awesomeness that is your business. You’re basically sending something out there and saying “Come and get it!”, and if you sent the right thing out, at the right time, then you’ll grow an audience that not only follows you online but also books your services.
In essence, every single action you take on social platforms (posting, liking, replying, commenting, etc) should be part of a larger marketing strategy. They should all be part of a plan to drive your business forward and help to grow it. If you don’t have a proper game plan, you’re just wasting your time. The question is no longer “Why should my business be on social media”, but “How can I grow my business with social media?”
The world of social media can be overwhelming and confusing. We came into an industry to help people, not to learn the ins and outs of the technological black hole called the internet. At the same time, you’re seeing others who are simply smashing it online, and you’re buoyed by the vision of their success.
What Is A Social Media Strategy?
This is a documentation of everything you plan to do and hope to achieve for your business, using social media networks. It’s the plan, execution of said plan, and measurement of the success of those activities. The more specific, the more effective.
What are the goals of your business? What do you hope to achieve by the end of the year? Write them down and keep them fresh in your mind, because they’re the big picture to keep in mind whilst planning your strategy. They become your social media mission statement, in a sense.
What is it that you’re wanting to accomplish with social media? Getting more sales? Getting more email subscribers? Increasing your reach outside of your town and into the neighbouring areas?
This goal might change each month as your business needs change each month. You may want to focus more on package sales in a month like May with Mother’s Day as the main promotion. Other months you may want to focus on product sales (Black Friday) or launching a new treatment and ensuring it gets the attention that it deserves.
It is advisable to have a broad outline of ideas to keep in mind. Some popular holidays to plan for and around:
Remember to keep your goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound).
An example of a SMART goal would be: For Facebook we will share snapshots of clients undergoing each of our treatments offered. We will post these three times a week. The target for these is to get at least 40 likes, seven comments and one booking.
Your Ideal Customer
This is something you should have nailed down when you first did your business plan prior to opening your spa. If things have changed since then, then take this time to re-characterize who your ideal customer is. You may think that ‘pregnant women’ is specific enough, but when you’re looking into boosting your online posts and creating ads you’ll get much better results if you know who your pregnant customer is. What is their motivation? What are their likes and dislikes?
For example, if you know that your customer is between 18 and 35 years old, lives in Seattle and earns over $36,000 a year, uses mainly Instagram and Facebook and loves hiking and yoga, your ads will have far greater success than if you send a boosted post into the great wide world of internet. You’ll also know to spend time on Facebook and Instagram, rather waste your time on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Those platforms will appeal to a different demographic, certainly, but you catch more of the fish you like when you bait your hook with the right bait.
Look At Your Competition
By checking out your competition, you can accurately deduce what works and what doesn’t. Pick three or four of your top competitors and find which social platforms they’re getting a lot of interaction with. Which kind of posts specifically? What do they focus on; their products, their culture, their services?
Take inspiration from what they’re posting and adapt the ideas to fit your needs.
Choose Your Social Channels
Now that you know where your ideal clients hang out, and you know where your competitors are kicking social ass, put the information together and decide where you will be spending your time. Not all channels are created equal for your needs, and there is no ‘one platform to rule them all’.
If you’ve been concentrating on Twitter, but neither your ideal customer nor competitors are spending much time there, then it’s time to let that channel go and shift your focus to what’s going to work for your business.
Don’t go crazy wanting to be on all the social media platforms because of #reach. You’ll end up not only exhausting yourself, but neglecting some and letting potential customers fall through the cracks of busyness. Pick three and get ready to smash them.
Audit Where You're At
You know where you’re meant to be sending your time now. Are you already on any of these channels? Optimize the cover images, profile pics, bios, any links, etc. You’re wanting them to all tie in together, so your clients aren’t confused when they hop from one social space to the other and it looks completely different.
If you were using a channel and are now abandoning it, you should deactivate the account so it doesn’t look like a ghost town. If someone lands on your abandoned profile they’re likely to think things aren’t going so well if you haven’t posted in a while, which means they’re less likely to book your services.
This is where it all comes together and this handy planner puts it all into perspective and makes planning a dream!
When are you going to be posting? Remember, this needs to be factored into your own time – so will you be spending an hour each day? 30 minutes? Before lunch? After? Nail down when will be the most convenient time for you to be posting, keeping in mind when your ideal customers are online (you can usually tell this by checking out your competitors posts and seeing which have higher engagement rates and what time they were posted).
Depending on the platform, some require more or less posts per day than the others for your account to stay active among your audience.
A general rule:
Facebook – 1-2 x per day
Instagram – 1-3 x per day
Instagram stories – 8-16 x per week
Twitter – 3-15 x per day
LinkedIn – 1-2 x per day
YouTube – 1-2 x weekly
Google+ - 2-3 x per day
Pinterest – 5-10 of your own pins per day, 20-30 of others’
Snapchat – 5-20 x per week
What kind of content are you going to be sharing? Videos, images, articles, text, etc? The types of content you can share will be discussed in a future blog article (so keep your eyes peeled), but for now you can, again, take inspiration from your competitors and see which posts of theirs get the most interaction.
Another thing to consider is the ‘voice’ of your business on each of the channels you’ve chosen. Try having one where you keep things relatively informal (like Instagram), allowing your clients to get to know you a bit better and feel more comfortable with you.
You’ll want to have themes for each day. Posting willy-nilly with no plan is what you’re trying to prevent here, so having a specific idea of what to post, where and when will help focus your brainstorming process.
For example, this is my posting schedule:
Other ideas could be to post news, feature a therapist, feature a product, feature a treatment or package, post snapshots of great testimonials, post a meme about the industry, ask a question, feature another business who offers something you don’t (work together!), etc.
Choose a day to focus on each thing and brainstorm what you’ll be posting throughout the month. Remember to keep in mind the holidays and special landmark days (like your spa’s anniversary). Think about how many posts you want to promote a new treatment launch and how you’ll incorporate it into your plan. If there’s a black sale deal, for how long leading up to the event will you post about it? Where?
When you curate content to share from others, ensure that the standards are in keeping with yours and that the facts and info is correct. You don’t want to be losing customers because they’re seeing hinky content on pages that you’ve chosen to share from others.
Why is the content you’re planning relevant to your business? How is it going to engage your clients and hopefully encourage them to book your services? Are you going to be blogging? Why or why not? What will you blog about that your client wants to know? (again, remember the article to come about this!)
If you have a large team then you might want to consider putting someone else in charge of the social media posts (because you’re already busy af, right?). Otherwise, you could even put different people in charge of different channels. Incentivise ratings or something to keep them motivated.
There always seems to be money involved in everything these days. Alas, you have to give to get! And if you give in a smart way, you get a lot!
There are ‘ads’ to purchase, and there are posts to ‘boost’. You can usually choose the amount of $$ you’re willing to spend per day (or once off), what audience you’d like to reach (which is why knowing who your ideal customer is so important), where they are located, etc. You may decide to have a greater budget in place for those weeks or months where you’re launching new services or when there’s a lull in business.
Additionally, you may decide to pay for a scheduling tool, like Buffer or Hootsuite, to automate your posts for better time management. Everyone has their favourite – I personally use Buffer due to their amazing customer service.
Take into consideration the ROI you’ll get on your posts. Your social strategy shouldn’t exceed your budget; if it does you’ll need to re-evaluate.
Tracking & Analyzing
Stay current with the trends and market fluctuations. MySpace was huge until it just…disappeared. You get what I’m saying? Chevron was the be all and end all of décor, and now it’s sooo #yesterday *insert rolling eyes*.
Track your results and adjust your content, posting times and posting frequency accordingly. Most business accounts offer analytics as part of the profile, but you can always go more in depth with Google Analytics. Let the data tell you what’s working and what isn’t.
If you’re not sure whether or not it’s working answer this question: Are your posting objectives being met? Using the example from before, are you getting those 40 likes, 7 comments and one booking per Facebook post? If you aren’t, then things need to change. If you’re close, then analyse how you’re falling short and adjust accordingly.
A great social media strategy isn’t set in stone. It adapts to the market and to the needs of your business. By having a marketing strategy for social media you’ll notice a dramatic increase in engagement and also a dramatic decrease in your stress as you no longer have to thumb-suck for what to post next.
If you’re looking for the ultimate social media planner to kick-start your strategy, be sure to have a look at this bad boy.
Go kick marketing ass. You’ve got this.
What additional tips would you add to this?